Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has given a brutally honest assessment of his team’s failings, particularly in defence, as the Hoops crashed out of Europe after a 3-0 loss to Zenit.
The Northern Irishman admitted that the Hoops didn’t do enough in defence to prevent the Russian side from scoring, suggesting that the team lacked ‘aggression’.
“Defensively, we lacked aggression, in particular in the first half. We didn’t close the space quickly enough” Rodgers said, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.
“You talk about defending forward and we didn’t do that well enough, and we conceded poor goals from that.”
????️ BR: "Defensively, we lacked aggression, in particular in the first half. We didn’t close the space quickly enough. You talk about defending forward and we didn’t do that well enough, and we conceded poor goals from that."#ZENCEL
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 22, 2018
The goals the Hoops conceded in the first-half were easily preventable, as for the first goal Jozo Simunovic allowed Branislav Ivanovic a free header from a corner.
The second was arguably even worse, as Dorus de Vries completely failed to deal with Daler Kuzyaev’s swerving shot, and made himself look rather foolish in the process.
The Hoops boss will be particularly disappointed after all the dominance the Bhoys showed in the first leg, where they were well-worthy of their 1-0 victory.
Their second leg performance was the exact opposite however, as like so many Celtic teams before them the Hoops collapsed in Europe.
Rodgers now has the task of picking his team up off the floor for their next match, a vital league trip to Aberdeen on Sunday, where a win for the Dons could see them cut the gap at the top of the league table to just six points.
In other Celtic news, Patrick Roberts could make his return from injury against Aberdeen